Desmond Mgboh, Kano, Gyang Bere, Jos, Rose Ejembi, Makurdi, Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto, Paul Orude, Bauchi, Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
After a nail-biting elections and supplementary elections, incumbent governors Aminu Tambuwal, Simon Lalong, Samuel Ortom and Abdullahi Ganduje were, yesterday, declared governors-elect of Sokoto, Plateau, Benue and Kano states respectively.
However, electorate in Bauchi and Adamawa states would have to wait for a little longer to know who would governor them from May 29, because of pending court cases.
The Independent National Electoral Commission Elections (INEC) had declared elections in the six states inconclisive and ordered a supplementary polls to conclude the process.
In a dramatic photo-finish, Governor Tambuwal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secured a second term after he polled 512,002 to defeat Ahmed Aliyu, his erstwhile deputy and candidate of theAll Progressives Congress (APC) by 341. He got 512,002 and his challenger 511,661 votes.
The supplementary election result indicated that Tambuwal scored 22,444 votes while his opponent polled a 25,515 vote.
Prior to the declaration of the governorship election inconclusive by the returning officer, Prof. Fatima Mukhtar, Governor Tambuwal was in the lead with 489,558 votes as against the 486,145 votes by his closest rival. The election, however, ended in a stalemate as the 3,413 votes margin was far less than the cancelled votes totalling 75,403 votes.
Wamakko appeals to APC supporters
The state leader of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, has appealed to party members and supporters to remain peaceful, resolute and calm in the aftermath of the just concluded gubernatorial elections held in the state.
The former governor, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bashir Rabe Mani, said: “We have jointly struggled, fought and won. We are never losers. All and sundry have done their possible best, by coming out en masse and massively casting their invaluable votes for our candidates, at all levels.”
Ortom wins, Jime heads for court
Similarly, Governor Ortom of the PDP won in Benue State. He polled 434,473 votes to beat his closest contender, Emmanuel Jime of the APC, who polled a total of 345,155.
As soon as he was declared winner by the state Returning Officer, Prof. Sabastine Maimako, Ortom rushed to the Chapel of Grace Church, Government House with family and associates to give thanks to God after which he addressed his supporters at a victory party at the Lawn Tennis Court of Government House.
But Jime has vowed to head to the elections petition tribunal to contest the result.
In a statement signed by the Secretary, Jime/Ode Campaign Organisation, Prof. Eugene Aliegba, Jime said the result was was a direct product of brutal violence, vote buying, ballot-stuffing, results-falsification, non-use of the card reader and a range of other irregularities that have no place in the electoral laws.
“We are making it unequivocally clear that the Benue APC will explore all constitutional and legal options available to ensure the votes of the people count.
“In simple terms, we will make a case before the Elections Petition Tribunal to subject the Benue governorship elections result to an integrity test. If we opt otherwise, we will be as guilty as those who undertake acts that undermine democracy. We have chosen instead to take action that insulates democracy from practices that threaten it.”
Lalong woos opponent, Useni rejects result
In Plateau, Lalong, candidate of the APC tallied 595, 582 votes to defeat Senator Jeremiah Useni of the PDP who scored 546, 813 votes.
In the supplementary election conducted in 40 polling units in nine local government areas, the APC candidate scored 12,327 votes while Useni scored 8, 487 votes.
During the March 9 governorship poll, Lalong had polled 583, 255 votes while Useni had 538, 326.The election was declared inconclusive as the leading margin was less than the total votes cancelled.
Lalong won in 11 councils to defeat Useni who won in six councils with a margin of 48,769 votes.
However, Useni has rejected the results describing it as “an injustice and a temporary setback.”
According to him, the results of the governorship election as announced by INEC did not reflect the voting pattern of the people who he claimed voted for him “massively” at the poll.
The PDP candidate said he and his party had decided to head to the tribunal to reclaim the mandate freely given to them by the people.
“My team and I have gone through both the official results released by INEC and the documents submitted by our own field staff. We have every reason to believe that justice has not been done to our people in this election because there was massive rigging and electoral shortcomings.
“After due consultation, I hereby state that the results announced by INEC is not acceptable to us. Consequently, we have requested our legal team to activate all the due processes to reclaim our cherished mandate at the tribunal and by the grace of God, we will overturn and recover the people’s mandate.”
Notwithstanding Useni’s rejection of the result, Governor Lalong has promised to work with the opposition political parties and every stakeholders for the development and prosperity of Plateau people.
He promised not to harass, witch-hunt or intimidate his opponent.
“I will extend hand of friendship to consolidate on the existing peace in the state,” he said.
“The outcome of the exercise was clearly an amazing show of confidence and trust. It was also a referendum on our most cherished principles of unity and peace as well as affirmation of the desire to move to the next level.
“Moving to the next level in the light of equality and inclusiveness, which are core values fundamentally located in the heart of the Plateau spirit that speak to our sense of communality, diverse ethnicity, mutual respect, tolerance, peace, hospitality, humility and diligence.
“To my fellow contestants, who not only participated in the historic gubernatorial debate, prior to the elections and also contested with me, I wish to congratulate you for your mature conduct during and after our electioneering campaigns.
“I also extend my hands of friendship and urge you to share in the patriotic zeal of building a virile Plateau so that we can bequeath a positive and lasting legacy for the younger generations.”
Lalong described his reelection as victory for the whole Plateau with no victor, no vanquished.
He said the victory is a clarion call for consolidation on the gains of the administration and sustainable peaceful co-existence in the state.
Ganduje wins, PDP kicks
The Returning Officer of the Kano State Governorship and House of Assembly elections, Prof. Balarabe Bello Shehu has declared the candidate of the APC, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje winner of the hotly contested governorship polls in the state.
Announcing the figures of the merged results of the main and supplementary elections held on March 9 and March 23, he said APC scored a total of 1,033,695 votes while the candidate of the PDP. Abba Kabir Yusuf scored a total of 1,024,713 votes.
The candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), he revealed, scored 104,065 votes
The total votes cast in the election, according to the Returning Officer stood at 2,242,369 while the total number of accredited voters was 2,269,305 and the total number of rejected were 50,861.
Before the March 9 poll was declared inconclusive by INEC, the APC was trailing the PDP by 987,819 to 1,014,474.
In the supplementary election held in 28 out of the 44 local government areas in the state, Ganduje won by scoring 45,876 votes to Yusuf’s 10,239 thereby up turning the result in his favour, INEC said.
The PDP has, however, rejected the conduct of the supplementary election and asked INEC to cancel it.
Violence had marred the conduct of the supplementary election after political thugs attackec voters and journalists.
However, PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said any declaration that did not reflect Yusuf as winner would ot be accepted.
The opposition party noted that the entire world was aware that its candidate won the March 9 governorship poll in the North West state, “having fulfilled the constitutional requirement of securing the highest number of votes and the statutory 25 per cent in two-third of the state.”
According to the PDP, “ the so-called governorship supplementary election in Kano is a national disgrace and a mere figure allocating exercise by compromised INEC officials, who collaborated with power drunk politicians in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to award results to the APC candidate.
“The party, therefore, cautions INEC against any attempt to import contrived figures from the illegitimate March 23 charade as such will be a clear recipe for anarchy and serious crisis in the state.”
He said that in addition to the numerous violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act, the recent judgement over the Osun Governorship elections has given them a nw impetus to press a case against the conduct of the supplementary election. He confirmed that several of their members had been hospitalized by the violence perpetrated by the All Progressives Congress during the supplementary polls.
Also reacting, Caretaker Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rabiu Suleiman Bichi said his party would be heading to the tribunal to challenge the results.
PDP leads APC in Bauchi
Although the candidate of the PDP in Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed won the supplementary election held in 36 polling units in 29 wards across 15 local government areas, the results could not be declared owing to the court case over results of Tafawa Balewa council.
Results from the 15 LGAs declared by the State Returning Officer, Prof. Kyari Mohammed, showed that PDP polled 6, 376 votes while incumbent Governor Mohammed Abubakar got 5, 117 votes..
Before the declaration of the governorship election as inconclusive by Prof. Kyari Mohammed, on March 11, the PDP was ahead with 4, 059 votes. According to the Returning Officer, Senator Mohammed got 469,512 votes to lead Governor Abubakar who got 465, 453 votes.
The Federal High Court Abuja will deliver judgment today in the case instituted by Governor Abubakar in which he challenged the results of Tafawa Balewa.